Regardless of Dealing with Corruption Allegations, Senator Advocates for Stricter Crypto and Bitcoin Oversight

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U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), a vocal critic of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, finds himself on the middle of a political corruption scandal.

Menendez has been charged with bribery, allegedly accepting a wide range of illicit presents, together with gold, money, and mortgage funds, in alternate for abusing his energy and affect.

The fees come after years of Menendez’s condemnation of cryptocurrencies, which he has accused of facilitating prison actions and aiding overseas entities in evading U.S. sanctions.

The indictment, filed final week, outlines the alleged corrupt relationship between Menendez and three businessmen in his dwelling state—Wael Hana, Jose Uribe, and Fred Daibes. It states that Menendez and his spouse, Nadine Menendez, accepted a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} in bribes between 2018 and 2022.

Federal prosecutors additional declare that Menendez compromised delicate U.S. authorities info to profit the federal government of Egypt.

As an illustration, Menendez allegedly used his affect to halt a prison investigation in New Jersey towards Jose Uribe and safeguard an Egyptian enterprise monopoly held by Wael Hana. This monopoly performed a job in funding the alleged bribes acquired by Menendez.

In response to the costs, Menendez firmly denied the allegations, stating, “I stay centered on persevering with this essential work and won’t be distracted by baseless allegations.”

He now faces three federal costs: conspiracy to commit bribery, conspiracy to commit trustworthy companies fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion underneath shade of official proper, with a possible jail sentence of as much as 20 years if convicted.

Menendez’s Bitcoin Stance

The indictment revealed that Menendez used conventional means to hide his alleged ill-gotten good points, in stark distinction to his earlier stance on cryptocurrencies. He had as soon as expressed considerations about Bitcoin’s anonymity, suggesting it might be exploited by criminals.

Menendez had made a reputation for himself within the crypto world by co-sponsoring the Accountability for Cryptocurrency in El Salvador (ACES) Act in 2022, which raised considerations about El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as authorized tender. 

One of many invoice’s different co-sponsors, Jim Risch (R-Idaho), stated on the time that adopting Bitcoin as authorized tender would “empower malign actors,” inside he area. The third, Invoice Cassidy (R-La.), stated it will “open the door for cash laundering cartels” whereas threatening the greenback’s world reserve forex standing.

He additionally criticized Fb’s Libra challenge in 2019, fearing it might turn into a haven for cash launderers and nations searching for to bypass U.S. sanctions.

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